November 8, 2020

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The leadership of Onuogba-Nike Development Union has denied the report that it was thwarting the conduct of election after expiration their first-four- year term in office.

Chairman and Secretary of the Union, Chief Emmanuel Uboshi and Chief Ngwu Onyekachi, respectively who addressed a press conference on Saturday, on the brewing crisis in their community, alleged that some people who were bent on subvert the constitution of the community because of their pecuniary interest are behind the crisis.

Uboshi stated that their four year tenure term in office is subject to renewal by vote according to their constitution. Although he said their first term in office ended in April 2019, their leadership was renewed by the community through the General Council.

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He narrated, “Unfortunately, one Chief Emeka Anike, who was the immediate former Chairman of the Development Union for 10years refused the confidence vote the community had passed on my leadership, and went to court to challenge it, while insisted that election must be conducted.

“After several interventions, despite the fact the matter is in court, my leadership agreed to conduct election. The election was subsequently, fixed for March 28, 2020 but was postponed two days to the election by our traditional ruler, Igwe Gabriel Nnamuchi, citing state government ban on social activities in state at wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“On August when the government lifted the ban on social activities, we approached the traditional ruler and Ministry of Rural Development and begged them to come and conduct the election. But the traditional ruler and my predecessor, Anike objected to the election, arguing that they were not aware of the Committee set up by the Community to organise the election.

“The ministry, however, directed us to liaise with the Igwe to ratify the Committee and refer back for the election. Unfortunately, when we came back, Igwe said he would not accept the Committee and will suspend our constitution as it regards to the conduct of the election. But my leadership insisted that the letters of the constitution must be followed to the later.”

Chief Uboshi explained that Igwe because of his pecuniary interest insisted that he will bring people from other villages to conduct the election, which we rejected.

He alleged that the Monarch, while describing himself as above their constitution, said they were talking because there is no crisis in their village.

The Chairman further explained that he was surprised that after discussions with the Igwe on Sunday November 1, on Monday Nov. 2, 2020, a group of boys went to harass and extort money from people who bought land in their community and had paid development levies.

“Unfortunately, our boys went to the site and confronted them. Although, I was not there, however after their fighting Igwe called me after he had already invited some soldiers. The matter was resolved and everybody went home. However, in the night I was called that some people came and start shooting at the neighbourhood which led to unfortunately killing of 15-year-old girl, Chinagorom Anike.”

Uboshi however, distanced the leadership of the Union from the violence that led to the unfortunate killing of their daughter, promising to assist the police to bring those behind the murder to justice.

He appealed to the state government to stop the delay in conduct of the election to forestall further crisis in the community.

But reacting Igwe Nnamuchi, said he was not responsible for the delay in the conduct of the election, saying that some people who were not in agreement with the purported approval of the General Council of the community for the Uboshi’s leadership to continue another four-year term in office without an election to court.

“The truth is that their tenure elapsed on April 2019 and they were afraid of losing the election. They want option A4 but their opponent wants open secret ballot system which I accepted to ensure that there will be peace after the election.”

He alleged that Chief Emma Ubosi had thwarted every effort made to conduct an election according to the constitution of the community.

On the allegation that he was behind the violence, the monarch said, “How can I possibly sponsor violence among my subjects,” while admitting that “I suspend their constitution because they did not conduct election when they supposed to.

“Their constitution said conduct election two months before the expiration of your tenure but they didn’t do that and started cutting corners.

“For now, because of the killing of our daughter the election has been put on hold till after the burial and appeasement,” he said.

Also reacting, Chief Anike admitted that he has been pressing for the conduct of election in their development union according to their constitution

“For a while now we have been having issues with our town union leadership. Their tenure expired in April last year. I have been pressing them to conduct an election but from one issue to the other, they have not been able to do that.

“They said that they will continue their second tenure without election. We would have had the election by March this year but because of COVID-19 the election was postponed. But after COVID-19, we have been fixing different dates for the election but they could not go through because everyday they come up with different reasons why they election will not hold.”

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